Riccitiello: Hollywood is 'worried'

EA CEO says movie industry more interested in adapting games than vice versa; asserts publisher is going to be "the one great games company."

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Last February, John Riccitiello returned to Electronic Arts from Elevation Partners, the venture capital outfit he joined after leaving EA in 2004. Since his return, as chief executive, Riccitiello has split EA into four separate business units: EA Games, EA Sports, The Sims, and EA Casual.

He has also been a very vocal leader, holding forth on why the current game pricing model will soon be obsolete, why the next-gen console transition is over, and how the games industry is boring people to death...not to mention his pronouncements over the ongoing Take-Two takeover saga.

In today's Financial Times, Riccitiello now makes his opinion on Hollywood known. He thinks that power in entertainment is shifting away from the studios to games companies. "The buzz in Hollywood, which I heard from some Hollywood folks...is people are worried whether Iron Man the movie is going to get killed by Grand Theft Auto the game. I don't think I've ever heard of that before... There is more interest today from Hollywood to make movies out of our games than there is interest in our industry to make games out of their movies. There's a big reset happening now," he said.

Games are starting to be recognised as an art form as opposed to a toy for children, he believes. According to Riccitiello, "The greatest games will be viewed by almost everybody as being as important as Best Picture at the Academy Awards."

This year, he said he would nominate Grand Theft Auto IV as Best Picture equivalent--taking the chance to once again sing the praises of developer Rockstar, which last month he revealed was the main reason behind EA's proposed takeover of Take-Two.

However, he's quick to make clear that he doesn't think that EA needs Rockstar or Take-Two--perhaps unsurprisingly, he already thinks that the company is the best of the best. He said, "I read a book on how every medium creates one great company: animation created Disney, CBS was created by radio, NBC by television. Interactive entertainment is going to determine one great company and I think it's this one."

Discussion

305 comments
salman06p0020
salman06p0020

EA is not the best company in gaming business. They have screwed themselves up. Many of their games which are good to some extent are developed by gaming studios which they have taken over. By making their bid to buy off Take-Two, EA has earned themselves a lot of haters - And these haters are hardcore gamers - so EA has a loss there.

ps3thabest
ps3thabest

im tired of hearing about ea i wish somebodi like sony shuts dem up

JB2B
JB2B

Well, I think he might be right. Personally I like it more to play a game and be part of the story than watch the story.

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

EA is bottom rung when we talk in terms of quality.

magic137b1
magic137b1

The reason why movies to games don't do as well as the reverse is because movies that become games are horrible. Get decent developers to make a great movie into a great game and then you'll see things even out.

vass86
vass86

EA are not the best gaming company at all. Blizzard are ten times better than EA. Blizzard make legendary games and a lot of money at the same time. EA could learn a thing or two

totaleklypse
totaleklypse

Actually had one more thought on it. Lol and u know what even if he is right.. just because the medium creates a mega company, doesnt mean once the people see this monster in full light, that we will want anything to do with it. EA needs to realize... WE as gamers made them what they are.. WE as gamers will define thier future. >=)

totaleklypse
totaleklypse

My Question is simple. Mr Riccitiello, have you forgotten about the Activision/Vivendi merge? Actually. Anyone else think that may be the "one great company" might actually be that alliance of developers. I mean think about it. just seeing any of those company names brings back great memories of gaming past. When I think of EA.... I just think of drawn out series of games every year and how they screwed up Ultima Online..!@#!@#. ... .. ... Well really I think of a lot of other shady dealings and bad games. They had some that were good dont get me wrong, but really in my mind I can only remember the bad now. What the hell happened to the EA that made Mutant League Football. I am going to conceed that EA does'nt need TakeTwo... it doesnt need anyone. What they need is to stop making the same lackluster games and try to make something really... good... just my 2 cents.

TMac83138
TMac83138

So the offer ends on the 19th?

705H1R0
705H1R0

Yea, EA is "best of the best" only if being "the best" means "making the most money." "Dear Rockstar, we don't need you, but please please please take our offer so we can make tons of money off your hard work. Our company is awesome and all, but it's just not awesome enough. We need more talented developers to take the credit from for "making" their games. Love, EA"

theembassy
theembassy

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Selfdestruct9
Selfdestruct9

Osht Shinra corp of video games is here! WHY!!!

Jubei_1987
Jubei_1987

Someone richer then EA needs to buy it, disband it, then burn every EA HQ to the ground, that would be the best move in video gaming history.

etramleinad12
etramleinad12

Relax people the EA offer ends in three days and Take two isn't selling.

greendays_biggest_fan
greendays_biggest_fan

EA are such jack asses sumtimes.. they have made a total of like 4 good games out of everything they have. skate. the sims, rockband, and the godfather. i wish they'd just F*** off and leave TT alone. EA is a helpless cause

schawnneo
schawnneo

EA should just back off!! They cant make good games and they're makin a bad move buying out TT. And Riccitielleo is a J**K

Bloodlust007
Bloodlust007

Even though this two mediums(Movies and Games) use a screen or television does not mean they are the same.

angelcar
angelcar

Just a taaad coky. just a lil' bit. Not too much.

Megawizard
Megawizard

Why can't Riccitiello just die? Jeez; his head's gotten big enough to break his neck.

Psychokid70
Psychokid70

I really hope that EA doesnt buy Take Two. EA has already ruined football games forever by churning out another Madden every year that is crappier than the last one. They ruined one of my fav shooting games ever Timsplitters by releasing Future Perfect w/ was a joke compared to the other games. Now if they buy Take Two they will ruin one of the greatest games ever Grand Theft Auto. EA should burn in hell for what they have done and what they plan to do.

Spaceboy99
Spaceboy99

you forget, though. EA cannot keep its overly large nose out of anything. this is the truth of EA move in. remove everything that makes _______ great. move on. Assassins Creed. GTA. creators of such fine additions to the gaming community should be commended. EA, buyers out of all things sacred and holy, should be burned. 'Nuff said.

zeldafan1234
zeldafan1234

well if ea was to just provide rockstar money if they took them over and not mess with anything im all for that. Only if they dont interfere one bit just provide them with all the tools they ask for grand theft auto 5 would be the only game you need almost lol.:P

jknight5422
jknight5422

Once EA acquires Rockstar, the people who built Rockstar will cash out their options & leave. What remains will just be a shell that will produce nothing. So I don't see the point in why they need to own it, other than to destroy it. So he's just now realizing all of this? It doesn't take a genius to figure out that 90% of all movies turned into games are complete crap. It's well known. And Uwe Boll has done a horrendous job of making sure that games turned to movies doesn't work either. I may be playing GTA IV rather than watch Iron Man. This is true.

hunter8man
hunter8man

It's not hard to see why Hollywood should be worried. They don't support the original movies out there, and just give us endless remakes and spoof comedies.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

It has been a big turn-around from the old days where game publishers were looking for movie tie-ins instead of the other way around as it is today. I don't believe EA is anything like Disney is to the animation realm. Walt Disney was involved in some pretty shady stuff back in the day too, though. It's funny how instead of going out and training and hiring the best developers they can get, EA just buys out the competition. I think it would be much better for them to invest in their own resources without worrying about consuming more rivals. If EA would learn a lesson about how Rockstar operates, they may be able to create that sort of environment at one of their developers and produce some AAA+++ titles that are on par with their desired competition. There are more developers out there like the guys at Rockstar. Maybe EA should actually get off their asses and start looking for them. EA is like people with old money. They buy their way to the top in everything they do (based on stereotype - does not apply to all). EA has tons of cash and they are willing to invest it for a chance that people will respect them for someone else's work. Slap that EA logo on there and force the customer to see the logo 5 times before the game menu loads and you've got some good stuff. Well, that's how it seems that EA feels. I think Mr. Riccitiello needs to look at the root of their problem and address their issues with different tactics.

jaredcrazy3232
jaredcrazy3232

u know if EA takes over Take Two, who will make rival hockey games?

Amir29
Amir29

This article is about as important as someone reporting a rash on their left testicle. But, speaking of that region of the body, Riccitiello must have a rather large set of them to say, "EA doesn't need Rockstar". It takes a lot of effort to negotiate a merger. And, it takes even more effort to organize a hostile takeover. EA may not need Rockstar to make money, but we can all be sure that EA wants Rockstar to make A LOT MORE greens. And by greens, I mean the legal kind ;)

havenshadow07
havenshadow07

Its hard to post but I'm thinking it might, I say again might, be a good thing EA is on a buying spree. This could mean that some of the other small companies may get some incentive to make insane games and grow to be super powers as well. Kinda keeps everybody on their toes so to speak. Its not like all of the developers at R* are disappearing along with the buy out they will get jobs at other companies and bring their ideas with them as well. For all the gameing community knows another company may turn out from all this buying that consist of all these great companies developers. Everyone really needs to start looking for the good side in some of this. Its getting more and more depressing to read these posts.

HotSauce19
HotSauce19

wow, he's got to be kidding himself if he believes EA is a premier or a great company. they make such **** games it isn't even funny

jbot666
jbot666

Hollywood should be worried most current movies suck a**

gangsta791
gangsta791

this game it goin to b sik man zoop zoop

raverrozza
raverrozza

budweiser is a horrible beer for girls. the worlds full of gorgeous commercial and none commercial beers but bud is certainly not one of them. try something decent like staropramen, leffe or just a good becks.

edhc44
edhc44

MS and Bungie already kicked Hollywood ass last October with Halo 3, can't see why GTA4 wouldn't repeat this feat. But then again, if the big shots there don't rethink on how to make a good game-to-movie conversion, their situation will go from bad to worse. And I'm sorry mr. Riccitiello, but if there is one company that "Interactive entertainment" is going to determine as the great one, only haters will disagree when I say that company must be Nintendo.

sbjedi
sbjedi

i agree completely with chr0nicblazer

chr0nicblazer
chr0nicblazer

I'll admit EA are a lil bit cheap sometimes but comparing it to Budweiser is just stupid. You do see EA on more games than most, but thats arguably the most popular. Budweiser however has been the world's best selling beer since the 50's, and that my friend is because of popularity & because it is the king of beers.

videogamesjunki
videogamesjunki

...One great company? Maybe "Activision/Blizzard" or "Nintendo" but EA? No way... They are like the Budweiser of the gaming community. Cheap & nothing special.

Dion4ever
Dion4ever

He's right. The gaming industry is all about picture these days, and to tell you honestly, it's disgusting. I once knew of gaming as fun, now I know it as graphics, and even though I will always take fun over graphics, most of the gaming industries, will not.

ShadowOfKratos
ShadowOfKratos

that's right "ehuma"!!! Call of Duty 4 made feel like I was "IN" the movie "Black Hawk Down" in many instances. awsome game!

ehuman
ehuman

When I played Call of Duty 4, this is exactly what I had in mind. My mind was screaming, "ZOMG, IM PLAYING A MOVIE!" Then I said to myself, "Forget Hollywood. The gaming industry is where it's at!" Though I'm not bound to replace movies with videogames. I'd still buy a good movie especially ones that are artistic in the core and not the special effects.

ShadowOfKratos
ShadowOfKratos

"Games are starting to be recognised as an art form as opposed to a toy for children, he believes. According to Riccitiello, "The greatest games will be viewed by almost everybody as being as important as Best Picture at the Academy Awards." I've always said this ever since PS2 came out... sh** ever since I got Metal Gear Solid for the PS1 actually... "...is people are worried whether Iron Man the movie is going to get killed by Grand Theft Auto the game." LOL... never thought I'd hear *ahem* read... this... this soon... and who the f*** is EA (a.k.a. Electronics A$$) to say they don't need Rockstar? it's actually good that they say that, but the fact that EA can't cope up with Rockstars shows a lot of balls when they say they don't need em'... in order for EA to be the best they DO need to own Rockstar and I hope that will NEVER happen!!! coz EA is too f***ing lazy!! if EA made a GTA game... you would be like "The Getaway"... in a matter of hours you would be done with the game forever!!! and it's actually odd how casual gamers don't see that...

Nocturnal15
Nocturnal15

"He has also been a very vocal leader, holding forth on why the current game pricing model will soon be obsolete, why the next-gen console transition is over, and how the games industry is boring people to death...not to mention his pronouncements over the ongoing Take-Two takeover saga" You should also add somewhere in there, that he is a self-absorbed, brainless peasant. =)

Damnation_6
Damnation_6

"Stop finger-pointing, and complaining about EA and do the only thing that we as consumers can do to really hurt a business, stop buying their products." Well the big problem is you see, I don't think the actually (hardcore) gamers don't buy too many EA games. It's the casual gamers and parents that buy stuff like The Sims, Fifa, Madden, Harry Potter......the things that make them money. Even if we organized some kinda boycott (and I would love to to be honest) The People I mentioned would be still buying their stuff. What we need is franchises from other publishers that can outsell stuff like the Sims, Fifa ( I'm looking at Konami on this one: IMPROVE PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER), Madden ( 2k should make an effort to make their version better). And when it comes to other genre's, there are games from other publishers that are better. Don't buy Command and Conquer games people, there are better strategy games....or just wait for it to be in the Budget bin. Same goes for every other genre.

bertm1975
bertm1975

I did think it was funny when Hollywood studios were blaming Halo 3 for poor box office results the week it came out. Hollywood wouldn't have much to worry about if they actually put out good movies. I've seen a lot of films for 2007, and I may have liked less than 10, and now I have to wait for DVDs because I can't justify spending nearly $20 a person to see a movie I can rent or buy cheaper in less than 4 months.

-RaptorJesus-
-RaptorJesus-

EA apparently wants to move the gaming industry to the place where Hollywood is right now: a soulless business steered by people motivated by greed and preoccupied with charts and number-crunching rather than with furthering film as an art form. I may be presenting a stereotypical image here, but who can really argue? EA has no artistic credibility, and it both worries and amuses me that its CEO has suddenly dubbed himself Patron of the Arts of Gaming. The worst thing that can happen to gaming - hyperbolically speaking of course, as I'm sure that all the game devs in the world suddenly keeling over from simultaneous aneurysms would be worse - is EA taking on the mantle of Captain, yanking the wheel to port and steering the ship to a creative desert (this is where my metaphor falls apart, but hopefully you get the point).

K_M82
K_M82

"Interactive entertainment is going to determine one great company and I think it's this one." HOW ARROGANT. I dislike EA business practice (but still like some of their game). That comment made me even more hateful of EA. I wish they just shut up and make more quality game.